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Rider lost control of bike on loose gravel
AN EXPERIENCED cyclist enjoying a leisurely cycle with his friend in the New Forest died when he was thrown into a tree after losing control of his bike, an inquest heard.
Cyril Cawte, from North Baddesley, was flung over the handlebars of his racing bike and into a tree, causing severe head injuries that killed him at the scene.
Southampton’s Coroner Court ruled it was a “tragic accident” that claimed the life of the 69-year-old, and that there was no evidence to suggest there was any underlying medical condition that triggered the crash.
The hearing was told how Mr Cawte, of Orchard Close, had met his friend of 30 years, Barrington Day, at 8am on the morning of May 5, for a ride through the Forest – a two-hour ride which they had both done before.
Mr Day told police that they had been chatting as they cycled and had been riding for about ten miles when the accident happened, as they took a right-hand downhill bend along Forest Road, in Nomansland, near Ringwood.
An investigation of the scene by police found no other vehicle had been involved and that loose gravel on the road had caused Mr Cawte to lose control of his bike.
Due to his experience, he was able to stay in the saddle, but his front wheel went into a ditch, which threw him over the handlebars and into a tree.
A post-mortem examination carried out by Dr Brian Green revealed that Mr Cawte suffered “extensive” skull fractures and, more significantly, multiple fractures to the structures at the base of the brain.
He ruled out any medical episode triggering the accident and also told the hearing that although a helmet “may have helped” Mr Cawte, he “did not know” due to too many unknown factors.
In conclusion, Dr Green determined that the cause of Mr Cawte’s death was severe head injuries, as a result of the fall from his bike.
Deputy Coroner Gordon Denson ruled that “this was a “tragic accident” and gave a verdict of accidental death.
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